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chicken tikka masala in a plate with rice and garnished with cilantro.
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4.47 from 634 votes

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

This Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala is one hundred percent made from scratch. Super flavorful with tender chicken and delicious curry - this recipe is always a family favorite! 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Marinade time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Indian
Keyword: chicken tikka masala, indian food, instant pot, instant pot chicken tikka masala, instant pot recipes
Servings: 6
Calories: 327kcal


Chicken Tikka

  • 2 pounds chicken skinless and boneless, I used both chicken breast and thighs, cut into cubes
  • cups plain yogurt I used Greek
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Curry Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons coriander ground
  • 2 teaspoons cumin ground
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 14 ounces fire roasted tomatoes or regular diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups tomato sauce or passata
  • ½ to 1 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro fresh, chopped for garnish


  • Combine all the chicken tikka ingredients together in a large bowl and mix thoroughly so that each piece of chicken is fully coated in the yogurt mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to 48 hours.
    process shots showing how to prepare chicken tikka to marinate.
  • Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting. (See your manufacturer's guide for detailed instructions on how to use your instant pot.)
  • Add the vegetable oil, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, cumin, and chili powder. Stir and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion softens. 
    process shots showing how to cook the onion with spices for chicken tikka masala in the instant pot.
  • Add the fire roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce and stir.
  • Add the chicken to the Instant Pot, including all the yogurt marinade and stir. Close the lid (follow the manufacturer's guide for instructions on how to close the instant pot lid). Set the Instant Pot to the Manual setting and set the timer to 5 minutes.
    process shots showing how to add chicken tikka to the instant pot and cook it.
  • Once the Instant Pot cycle is complete, wait until the natural release cycle is complete, should take about 10 minutes. Follow the manufacturer's guide for quick release, if in a rush. Carefully unlock and remove the lid from the instant pot.
  • Add the half and half, salt and butter and give it a good stir. The butter is added to smooth the sauce.
    process shots showing how to finish making chicken tikka masala in the instant pot with butter and cream.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve warm over cooked rice with naan or roti.



  1. What is an Instant Pot: An Instant Pot is a multi-cooker, it's like seven different appliances all in one! It does the job of a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, etc. I strongly recommend reading the manufacturer's guide for instructions on how to use your Instant Pot before attempting this recipe. 
  2. Half and half can be found near the milk and cream in the dairy section of your local grocery store. Half and half is a blend of equal parts whole milk and light cream. It averages 10 to 12% of fat.
  3. Chicken: I used both skinless boneless chicken thighs and breasts, so both can be used with the same cooking time.
  4. Storage: You can store this chicken tikka masala recipe in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. It freezes well as well, for up to 3 months. Be sure to thaw it completely before reheating on the stove.
  5. Nutrition: Nutritional information does not include rice or roti. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 1361mg | Potassium: 624mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1133IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 3mg